Monarch Watch Update - November 30, 2005
http://www.MonarchWatch.org
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Contents:

1) Status of the Population

2) Michoacan Reforestation Foundation (MRF)

3) Papalotzin

4) Monarch Conference

5) A Late Bloomer for Your Monarch Waystation

6) A Praying Mantis Ate My Tagged Monarch!

7) Illegal Logging Continues in Mexico

8) Western Monarch Round-up

9) Holiday Shopping

10) About Our Update List

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Unless otherwise noted, all content was authored by Chip Taylor, edited by Jim Lovett and Sarah Schmidt, and published by Jim Lovett. The complete web version of this update is available at: http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html

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1) Status of the Population

The evidence continues to mount; the all-time low monarch population of 2.19 hectares in 2004/2005 will soon be a distant memory. Large numbers of monarchs began to arrive in the vicinity of the overwintering sites during the last days of October in time for the Day of the Dead (1 November). The arriving monarchs typically move from place to place for a few weeks before colonies are completely formed. New monarchs continue to arrive in the area through early December. Once the colonies are well established (mid December) Eduardo Rendon and his team from World Wildlife Fund Mexico will begin to count the trees and measure the areas occupied by monarchs at each site. I'm still predicting that the total area for all colonies combined with be in the range of seven to nine hectares, with the lower figure being more likely. ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#1 ]

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2) Michoacan Reforestation Foundation (MRF)

Those of you who follow monarch conservation issues closely may be familiar with the Michoacan Reforestation Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to the reforestation of private lands near the monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. The goal is to lessen the demand for the trees within the protected areas by creating sources of wood near, but outside, the monarch reserves. The foundation raises funds that are then directed to the La Cruz Habitat Protection Project in Mexico to pay for the development of seedlings. These seedlings are given to landowners who are instructed in the planting and care of the young plants. Each plot is subsequently monitored to establish the success of the plantings and to give the landowner further advice regarding the care of the young trees. The trees are harvested (thinned) on a five-year schedule with a planned final harvest at 15 years. ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#2 ]

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3) Papalotzin

Do you ever imagine what it is like to be in some one else's shoes? I don't do this often, but news of the arrival of the Papalotzin in Mexico gave me pause to think of what it must have been like to be Vico Gutierrez as he maneuvered the Papalotzin to come in for a landing on the two lane highway near the entrance to Sierra Chincua. Imagine the highway surrounded by well-wishers and officials, including the Governor of the state of Michoacan, and as you descend you can't help but think that this is the end of a great adventure, perhaps the greatest adventure of your life. You try to concentrate on the landing, ever worried about a small thermal or a cross wind that might cause you to abort the landing or veer off the targeted center line of the highway, but it is hard not to reflect on the years of work it took to put the Papalotzin journey together. ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#3 ]

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4) Monarch Conference

The number of scientists studying monarchs is small, but they are dedicated to discovering answers to new and old questions associated with monarchs and their conservation. There are also several programs, such as Monarch Watch, Journey North, and the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, that encourage public involvement in monarch research. Monarchs and monarch conservation continue to be in the spotlight, so monarch scientists meet every four years or so (e.g. 1993,1997, 2001) to share their research findings with each other, the participants in the aforementioned programs and the public. This year's meeting will be held on the 8th and 9th of December at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#4 ]

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5) A Late Bloomer for Your Monarch Waystation

We are very lucky at Monarch Watch to be assisted by a number of volunteers at our public events and our other activities through the year. Our Monarch Waystation is the result of a volunteer effort by the local Master Gardeners, particularly Margarete Johnson. Margarete devotes a lot of time, energy, and creativity to managing the garden. This past season was the second year for the garden and by fall all of Margarete's hard work was rewarded by the appearance of large numbers of fall butterflies. Monarch larvae were so abundant that they had to be removed from the plants and raised elsewhere, so that visitors could see that the garden actually contained milkweeds! ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#5 ]

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6) A Praying Mantis Ate My Tagged Monarch!

The proportion of the migrating monarchs that die en route to Mexico is unknown. Monarchs tagged with our circular tags are found dead each year within the United States but the number is relatively low. There has been the occasional tagged monarch found in a spider's web or on the grill of a car or truck, but normally the actual cause of death is not obvious to the person who finds the tagged monarch. Judy Molnar, an Education Associate of the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, alerted us to the fate of a female monarch. ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#6 ]

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7) Illegal Logging Continues in Mexico

The following text is a translation of an article by the well known Mexican author and conservationist, Homero Aridjis. We are indebted to Carol Cullar, Executive Director, Rio Bravo Nature Center Foundation, Inc. of Eagle Pass TX, for translating the article. Carol provided the following note concerning the translation: The word "talamontes" in Spanish means "Claw the mountain. It derives from the word for rape and utter destruction/devastation. Where the author intended, I've translated the word "tala" as "destruction" and at other times "illegal logging." ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#7 ]

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8) Western Monarch Round-up
By Mia Monroe

Monarch observers are watching closely to see just how this 2005-6 season shapes up since normal patterns are already a bit out of kilter at the regional level. Oddly, numbers throughout the state seem "normal". In the northern part of the range (Sonoma and Marin), individuals have been spotted flying in the area, but no overwintering clusters have been observed. However, just across San Francisco Bay, the San Leandro Golf Course reports three times the number usually seen at this time of year, according to Naturalist Adrienne DePonte. Natural Bridges also has monarchs and, continuing south, Pacific Grove may have up to 12,000 (a strong showing for early in the season), as observed by biologist Jessica Griffiths (Ventana Wilderness Society). ...

[ Read the full text of this article at http://www.MonarchWatch.org/update/2005/1130.html#8 ]

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9) Holiday Shopping

Looking for that perfect gift for the nature lover in your life? Be sure to browse through the Monarch Watch Shop online at

http://Shop.MonarchWatch.org

where you'll find 1,000s of nature-related items. Remember, each and every purchase in the Monarch Watch Shop helps support our education, conservation, and research programs.
Thank you for your continued support and Happy Holidays!

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10) About Our Update List

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